Written By Luna Watfa
Translated to English by Diane Lockyer
Luna Watfa’s report on pleading of Khabib Muhammad, lawyer of the plaintiff, Firas Fayyad, during final hearings of the “accused” Anwar Raslan.
After Mr. Firas Fayyad made his final pleading, one of his lawyers, Mr. Khabib Muhammad, came to the podium to present his pleading and began by thanking the panel of judges and prosecutors and his fellow defense and prosecutor lawyers. Then he asked everyone to listen to him as he presented his clients’ assessment and his personal assessment of this trial.
After that, he began to speak to the accused, Anwar Raslan, and told him that he had committed crimes that deserve life imprisonment according to German criminal law and that the details of these crimes had already been submitted by the Federal Public Prosecutor, and that he had no doubts that the accused would actually receive this punishment on the 13th January 2022 when the verdict would be pronounced.
Mr. Muhammad then raised several questions that had preoccupied him throughout the trial. He started by asking how the accused would be able to deal with the whole situation. He knew that the accused had studied law and worked in state institutions for a long time, and therefore he was able to read people, their faces and their looks.
His questions followed:
“What did you read on the faces of all the parties to the lawsuit? Did you really read a conviction in our faces that you are innocent of all charges against you? Or did you have a feeling during the past 18 months – the duration of the trial – that the judges had the slightest suspicion of your crimes? Even more than that, when you talked to your private lawyers did you think they themselves were convinced of your innocence?? When you can correctly assess the whole situation, you will realize that what awaits you is only a life sentence!”
After that, Mr. Muhammad said he was a Sunni like the “accused” and he also followed the true religion and both of them, that is, he personally and the accused, among all the parties to the case know what it means to be Sunni and the necessity of believing in the Hereafter and the reckoning and that it always follows from what a person has done in his life.
Therefore, Mr. Muhammad asked the accused to think of remorse before God, to repent for everything he had done as “God loves those who repent” and that there was no remorse in anything for a person to say that he did not commit any mistake, or to say that everything falls on someone else’s shoulders, such as Hafez Makhlouf or Tawfiq Younes, for example.
Mr. Muhammad explained to the accused that, according to German criminal law, the accused always had the final word, and asked him to take advantage of this opportunity to repent, to answer the questions of all witnesses and prosecutors! He also suggested he use his voice to apologize to all the victims, to show he really opposed the regime.
He assured him that there was nothing there to fear but God, and that the Prophet Muhammad, may God’s prayers and peace be upon him, said that whoever does good deeds for the remainder of his life, all his previous sins and bad deeds would be erased and he would not have another opportunity to say everything. He added everyone would listen to him on the day of the defense’s last pleading on the sixth January 2022. Mr. Muhammad continued emphasizing: “Until now, you still have time to say something useful for this world and the hereafter.”
Mr. Muhammad then addressed the judges and thanked them on behalf of all his clients because, despite the Corona pandemic, this trial had continued. Many had believed it would not reach its end and yet here it was approaching the end. He could assure them that the ruling was the greatest comfort for Mr. Firas Fayyad, his client.
Mr. Muhammad then concluded his plea by saying: “Around 4,000 km away amidst the bombs, riots and shootings, the victims have lost their faith in justice. I personally find it wonderful to know that here, on the 13th of January, 2022 they will regain their faith in justice!
“Who would have thought that it would be possible for Mr Fayyad when he was in his cell at al-Khatib? It all sounds like a dream for Mr. Fayyad.”